Sun20Apr2014

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Amplifying chaos, sowing discord

By Sukumar Muralidharan

In many ways, the media revealed more about itself through 60 hours of feverish and frenetic coverage than about the terrorist atrocity that was being perpetrated in Mumbai. After its coverage of 26/11, the question the Indian media faces is not a trivial one. Is it going to be an exclusive forum for the more extreme voices? Or can it find a sensible way forward, to promote a genuine social dialogue?

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The ethics of conflict coverage

By Sevanti Ninan

How much truth-telling do you do in times of conflict? Do you tell it like it is, or weigh the consequences of doing so? Ethics in conflict situations is seldom black or white; it has to be shaped by changing contexts

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Manipur: The tussle and the compromise

By Thingnam Anjulika Samom

Mediapersons in Manipur are caught between the diktats and threats of around 40 underground groups and the authoritarian directives of the state government which recently proscribed publication of a great deal of content from or about "unlawful organisations". How does Manipur's media cope with these pressures and still try to uphold the freedom of the press?

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Media perceptions vs law enforcement in Kashmir

By Muzamil Jaleel

Reality in Kashmir is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. There is a Kashmir reality, a national reality, and whether we like it or not, a Pakistani reality. All these realities jostle and militate against one another, often overlapping and mingling. The biggest tragedy is that there is no neutral space left in Kashmir. The journalist's biggest challenge is to retrieve this space from the debris of a conflict-devastated state

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'The stress is on conflict, not its resolution'

By Aditi Bhaduri

Conflict is at the heart of every interesting news story, says Chindu Sreedharan in this analysis of how the Indian and Pakistani media cover Kashmir. But journalism tends to simplify issues and see things in black and white, which won't do in reporting conflict

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Reporting communal conflict

By Jyoti Punwani

After 20 years of almost continuous communal violence, the basic principles of reportage -- facts are sacred, comment free; get both sides of the story; check your facts before writing them -- are not enough in reporting communal riots. The guiding rules for reporters should be: look for the background; don't perpetuate the stereotype; find residents who deal with both communities; corroborate victims' accounts as well as police accounts; ascertain the role of the police, the politicians and the media; highlight stories where communities have helped each other

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The art of not writing

By Shubhranshu Choudhary

How does the media in Chhattisgarh report the conflict between the Naxalites and the Salwa Judum, or the conflict between local communities and corporations? Quite simply, it doesn't. The pressures on journalists in Chhattisgarh are unique. They are paid not to report stories that are critical of the powers-that-be, whether they are industrial lobbies or state authorities

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Who is Ima Gyaneswari?

By Teresa Rehman

The media portrays the northeast as one homogeneous trouble-torn frontier. Why doesn't the media get behind the statistics of the number killed and ammunition recovered? Why doesn't it find out what makes boys and girls barely out of their teens take up arms? Who bothered to find out what led Ima Gyaneswari and 11 other women protest the Armed Forces Special Powers Act by stripping in front of the Assam Rifles headquarters?

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Sensation and sympathy

By S Anand

Dalits can figure in contemporary media only under two conditions: when they are pushed to doing something dramatic and spectacular (like burning a bogey of the Deccan Queen to protest the Khairlanji killings), or when a bleeding-heart publication carries a sad story on "suffering" dalits. But daily atrocities against dalits and democratic assertions of civil rights by dalits are not covered

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